Local pot activist Jodi Emery says Washington State’s soon-to-be-realized legal marijuana industry could have a negative impact on tourism in B.C., as south-of-the-border pot enthusiasts will no longer have to drive north to get a taste of cannabis culture.
On Wednesday, Washington became the second U.S. state behind Colorado to pass rules governing the sale of recreational pot. The rules, voted in by Washington’s Liquor Control Board, will take effect next month with sales expected to begin by the middle of 2014.
Emery, the spouse of well-known pot advocate Marc Emery, said people have for decades flocked to B.C., in particular Vancouver, to “experience its marijuana culture,” something that, until now, hasn’t been available in the U.S. because of much stricter drug laws.
“Marijuana tourism is a real thing,” said Emery. “We know Amsterdam has a lot of people who go there just to experience the ability to use it in peace. And we’ve traditionally been the place in North America to go for that.
“Now if they can just go to Washington and safely access many varieties of cannabis legally, then they are going to do that.”
In fact, Emery said the flow of traffic could actually reverse, with B.C. puffers opting to spend more vacation time in Washington — instead of local destinations — where they will be able to purchase quality reefer and smoke it without fear of legal repercussions.
“Instead of going to the Okanagan for a weekend, they might decide to go down to Seattle instead,” she said. “If they can buy some pot with their booze in Seattle and then go out skiing later on, people are going to do that.”
– Read the entire article at The Province.